At the rate we're going, there may be plenty of news before those debates. Today, the White House is expected to release a list of budget cuts totaling about $100 billion. At the end of last year's debt ceiling battle, Congress voted to either agree on deficit reductions or these big automatic across-the-board cuts known as sequestration would go into affect. They didn't agree, so here we are.
As NPR's David Welna reports, many Republicans who voted for sequestration now oppose it.
As U.S. embassies and consulates face protests in the Muslim world over an anti-Islamic film, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is walking a fine line. She is distancing herself and the State Department from the video that has sparked anger among Muslims, but stressed the US commitment to free speech.
"To us, to me personally, this video is disgusting and reprehensible," she said Thursday in Washington, D.C. "It appears to have a deeply cynical purpose: to denigrate a great religion and to provoke rage."
The U.S. population is growing. In normal times, the labor force — working or not — would be growing too. But these are not normal times, and the labor force is actually smaller than it was four years ago, meaning millions of people who should be there aren't.
The reasons people drop out of the workforce are myriad. People go back to school. Others have health issues or family priorities that keep them from looking for work. But some stop looking because they are discouraged.
One of the biggest questions still outstanding about the attack on a United States consulate in Libya is whether it was planned or whether it was the result of a protest against a U.S.-made film that criticizes the Prophet Muhammad.
The attack killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The bottom line is that nothing is firm. But NPR's Leila Fadel reports that Libya's Deputy Interior Minister, Wanis al Sharef, said this was a sophisticated two-prong attack.
Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 7:55 am
The opening moments of Francine find Melissa Leo, playing the title role, standing naked, wet and blankly confused in a prison shower. She's on the verge of release after an unspecified crime and an unspecified period of incarceration, and the visual metaphor is an obvious one: a woman in middle age experiencing rebirth, coming into her new world in much the same way she entered at the start.
Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 7:23 pm
Stolen is very different from Pierre Morel's 2008 exploitation megahit Taken: There are six letters in its title, not five. It's set in New Orleans, not Europe. And it stars Nicolas Cage, not Liam Neeson. So any resemblance between these two films about fathers who'll stop at nothing to get their kidnapped offspring back is purely coincidental.
The First Amendment guarantee of free speech is in the spotlight this week. If you haven't kept up, a U.S.-produced filmdepicting the Prophet Muhammad in a less than flattering way has inflamed the Arab world.
In a lot of ways, the story is showing how the sweeping nature of the First Amendment puts the United States at odds with most of the world.
That rift was perhaps most evident when you compare the statements of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.